From education to employment


On Friday 8 June, Millennium Integrated Primary School and South Eastern Regional College (SERC) joined forces for a unique opportunity for pupils and their families to get an insight to what career path they might wish to follow.

The event was designed to help boost the children’s understanding of the range of learning opportunities and pathways available to them at their local Further Education College, helping them to make better, informed choices.

Millennium Integrated Primary School has been running a series of talks for children from Primary 5 to Primary 7 on Friday afternoons using parents who were willing to come in to present and discuss their careers. The talks have been very successful, and this has been seen in the response from the children and their teachers.

To take it a step further, Barry Corrigan, principal of Millennium Integrated PS approached SERC to see if they would be interested in running a careers’ day for the Key Stage 2 children to complement the series of talks that had been running in the school.

Commenting on the project, Mr Corrigan said, “It’s about planting seeds and ideas in the children’s minds. I want the children to always feel that their education is relevant and that there are opportunities available when they get older. When children become disengaged with education they are probably thinking that there isn’t anything worth working for. This event is designed to make children aware that there are always opportunities available and that they have a responsibility to take them when they present themselves.”

“I was very conscious of our past pupils who might now be in the process of sitting their examinations and who might be looking for other options after them. So they were invited to attend the day to avail of the advice on offer. We are very proud at Millennium of the relationship we have with our parents and the regular visits we receive from past pupils. Hopefully, this adds something to that relationship.

SERC Principal and chief executive Ken Webb said “SERC is committed to working with the local community to ensure they have the high-quality skills and qualifications employers demand, both now and for the future. SERC has built up a strong reputation in providing high quality education and training programmes to help meet the requirements of a wide range of sectors

“I hope that the event will raise awareness about Further Education amongst Millennium Integrated Primary School pupils and encourage them to aim high in their future endeavours. We are committed to raising our young people’s aspirations by giving them the best possible learning experiences and working with Millennium Integrated primary school provides us with the opportunity to do just that.

“This particular event has been designed to open children’s minds to the huge variety of exciting career options available to them at SERC. It is to get them to start thinking about their school options and future careers, so learning what skills and qualifications they will need is a good start. It is a real opportunity for children and their parents and siblings to try something completely new while, at the same time, enabling them to experience college life. Amidst the fun of the hands-on approach to learning, participants will get the unique opportunity to experience a range of career options.

“Young people don’t always know what courses or learning opportunities are available at SERC, so these sessions will give young people the opportunity to experience college life within a casual setting.”

Parents interested in a change of career or a pathway back into education availed of information as SERC expert careers’ advisors were available on the day offering 1 to 1 interview opportunities for parents and older siblings of current pupils at the school. The children got to visit stands showcasing careers in robotics, catering and hospitality, programming, languages and more.

Both parties are hoping that this might be the beginning of an annual careers’ day for the families in Millennium Integrated Primary School and the wider community.

Listen to the BBC Radio Ulster Interview here

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